Family Law – Custody and Support

Child custody and child support disputes are highly emotional and stressful for both parties. Our child custody and child support family law attorneys can guide you through these complex and important issues. We understand family relationships are unique and personal, and we will work with you to achieve solid results. To provide you with some context, we believe you will find the following information helpful to review before speaking with one of our attorneys:

Child Custody

There are two types of child custody in every case: Legal Custody and Physical Custody

  • Legal Custody: Generally speaking, unless good cause otherwise exists, a court will presume both parents should be granted joint legal custody. Legal custody is the right of both parents to make decisions in the children’s lives (i.e. health, education, religious, medical, welfare). If parents have joint legal custody, they both have equal say. Due to frequently conflicting parenting styles, this can occasionally lead to parenting gridlock. In many instances, we can help negotiate this gridlock by developing helpful parenting provisions to provide guidance and reduce conflict.
  • Physical Custody: When considering a custody arrangement, a court is concerned with the “best interests of the children” (as defined by Idaho Code § 32-717). The court will consider factors such as the parents’ wishes; the children’s wishes; the interaction and relationship between the children, parents, and siblings; the children’s adjustment to home, school, and community; the character and circumstances of all individuals involved; the need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; domestic violence in the family relationship. Everyone’s life is different. Speaking with a qualified attorney will help you weigh these factors in proposing an appropriate custody arrangement and in assessing risks and benefits based upon your individual needs.

Child Support

Child support is a tool governed by mathematical guidelines created by the Idaho Supreme Court (Idaho Rule of Family Law Procedure 126) to ensure parents are providing for the minor children’s physical needs. While they are guidelines, the courts in Idaho rarely deviate from this mathematical calculation. These guidelines can factor in many issues, such as custodial arrangements, the parties’ employable incomes, tax benefits for claiming minor children, insurance premiums. Apportionment of day care and health insurance costs are often dealt with in tandem with child support. Child support issues many times are much more complicated than they seem at first glance and revolve highly on the custodial arrangement of the children. Our family law attorneys help their clients navigate through these rules to ensure an accurate child support calculation.

Modification

Child custody and child support are modifiable upon a showing to the judge that a substantial and material change in circumstances has occurred to justify a change in custody and/or support. Grounds to modify might include, among other things, one or more of the following: a significant increase or decrease in wages, relocation to a different city, remarriage, the children becoming older, and domestic violence. Our family law attorneys can help you evaluate your facts against this modification standard.

Property and Debt Division in Non-Marital Settings

Where approximately 40% of children in the United States are now born to partners outside of marriage, it is common for questions to arise regarding the property in a non-marital setting. Idaho community property laws only apply to those who get married. Cohabitation can sometimes lead to very difficult property and debt issues and sometimes very favorable or very harsh results. Division of property and debt cases will often hinge on your ability to trace the source of funds used to acquire items of property or obtaining the contracts to verify who is contractually liable on certain debts. WE are happy to evaluate these issues with you.

**The information above is given in general guidance regarding principles of law in Idaho. The foregoing is not intended as legal advice in any particular matter. Because all cases are dynamic and deserve special planning, we encourage you contact the attorneys at our firm to answer questions regarding your specific case.**

Attorney Scott R. Hall

Scott R. Hall

Attorney Weston S. Davis

Weston S. Davis

Attorney Brian Eggleston

Brian Eggleston

Attorney Tyson N. Raymond

Tyson N. Raymond